Margaret MacAulay - Dean’s Convocation Medal Recipient

2018 Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medals

The Convocation Medals for graduate studies recognize graduating students from each faculty whose cumulative grade-point averages place them in the top five per cent of their class.

Margaret MacAulay, PhD, Communication.

Thesis | LinkedIn

What was your most proudest moment as a PhD candidate at SFU?

My proudest moment as a PhD candidate at SFU has been watching my colleagues pass comprehensive exams, defend their dissertations, have children, convocate, and move onto the next phase of their lives. The PhD is a long and difficult road for many of us, and so it gives me great joy to be witnessing other people's milestones. 

What was the one conference or event that spoke to you?

Watching Ivan Coyote's speech when receiving an honorary doctorate at SFU's fall 2017 convocation really spoke to me. They are a fantastic storyteller, and I really admired how they were able to connect different people’s struggles for acceptance in a very moving and inspiring way. 


If you can thank one professor who would that be and what is your message to him/her? 

Only one? I'm grateful for every professor who has taken an interest in me, especially teachers, supervisors, committee members, and letter writers. I would say I'm especially grateful for SFU CMNS' David Murphy. Dave has taught me so much about pedagogy while we worked in the Media Lab and has helped out in so many ways. Dave, thank you for being you! 


What was your biggest takeaway from your time at SFU?

My biggest takeaway from my time at SFU has been the importance of building community and supportive networks from day one. In academia, it’s very easy to self-isolate and focus only on scholastic achievement. But surrounding yourself with people who are in the same boat as you makes the journey so much easier. And having friends and family outside academia to remind us of who we are outside of work is vital. Sometimes we like to pretend that we can or should do it all on our own, but the truth is that very few of us would ever be where we are without the love and support of people around us. I’m so grateful for all the connections I made during my time at SFU.